[Photo: Allen Ginsberg. c. Steve Miles/All Rights Reserved]
By William Ney
This interview first appeared in the September 1988 issue of The New Common Good, a monthly broadsheet published by Marvin Jones and Chris Huestis, the owners of PACA Gallery on 7th Street just west of Tompkins Square in Manhattan, where, weeks before, throughout the night of August 6, 1988, what enlightened locals still recall as the Tompkins Square Police Riot had happened.
Allen Ginsberg then lived on 12th Street, two blocks from Tompkins Square, and with friends had been caught up in the festivities while strolling after dinner. I had been doing local journalism in the neighborhood, stumbled into the festivities around midnight then ducked and observed until they subsided, around dawn, when the police went home.
Allen Ginsberg died in 1997, with friends at home, a stone's throw from the park. See here to comment and for recollections from 2010, when the appearance of a magical film about his most celebrated poem, Howl, provoked this archeology.